Glass, on whatever scale, has always fascinated me…its history, malleability, fragility, transparency, textures, designs, process, and magic. Glass beads themselves have been a part of virtually every culture throughout the world, dating back at least 40,000 years ago. The process I use to make glass beads is called lampwork, a centuries-old process that originally used an oil lamp to melt and work the glass. In my Walpole, New Hampshire studio, I create my beads using a high-temperature propane torch and rods of imported colored glass from Murano, Italy. These 1.25”-1.5” discs are formed with at least 8 layers of hand- pulled and designed glass to create the concentric rings. The beads are then annealed in a 960° kiln to help make them strong and shatter-resistant. With an array of colored glass to choose from, my designs are constantly changing, and best of all, each piece is unique.
Ever since I can remember, I’ve loved creating with my hands and spending time outdoors. Now those two passions have truly come together. The natural world has always mesmerized me, especially the colors, shapes, and textures of flora and fauna, influencing everything I create. I realize that, whenever I want to study color, all I need to do is walk outside and look closely at the flowers, trees, birds, and mammals I find there. They are my inspiration. Working with the medium of glass also keeps a sense of wonder alive in me. Through trial, error and success, I’ve learned to read the glass, feel the glass, and listen to the glass. It’s a forever journey which I embrace!
I’ve long loved and admired the work of the phenomenal glass artist Dale Chihuly, and I think he said it best when stating, “Glass has the ability, more than any other material, to bring joy and a certain happiness to people.” Creating these pieces certainly brings me joy and happiness, and I hope they will do the same for others.